If the Alaska of your imagination involves tranquil fjords, freezing glaciers and jagged peaks; incredible wildlife encounters, gold-rush-era towns and a rich cultural heritage, then an Alaskan luxury cruise holiday may be just right for you. Exploring this region on a luxury small ship will ensure that you are treated to superb service, both on and off the water, while tailored, unique shore excursions will enrich your holiday with unforgettable encounters. Here are some of our favourite luxury, shore-based activities with which to treat yourself.
With much of Alaska inaccessible by roads, a scenic helicopter flight is one of the best options to experience its grandeur, taking you on a heart-soaring journey over lush rain forest, towering granite peaks and icy glaciers. You’ll be briefed and kitted out with all the necessary equipment so that when your helicopter sets down on the imposing glaciers of the Juneau Icefield, you’re ready for a unique, glacier-trekking experience.
Fully kitted out with the necessary licence and equipment, your expert guide will transport you to one of the remote rivers of the Tongass National Forest – just which river will be down to their expertise based on the conditions and the season. Leaving your custom-built runabout for the seclusion of the riverbed, you’ll have around four hours to pit your skills against the steelhead, salmon, trout and char that make these waters their home. Don’t worry about catching your lunch (any fish you catch will be released after the obligatory brag photo) – lunch will be provided, to be enjoyed in one of the most incredible al fresco settings in the world.
Spanning more than two million acres of Alaska back country, the Misty Fjords National Monument is the second-largest wilderness region in the United States. One of the most exhilarating ways to experience this vast expanse is by boarding an iconic, ten-seater De Havilland float plane. Soak up the incredible scenery: sheer granite cliffs, plunging 300-metre waterfalls and crystalline glacial lakes, before setting down on a pristine lake or ocean inlet so you can truly savour the incredible scenery and serenity.
The tiny town of Haines, which is cradled at the base of the Chilkat Peninsula, flanked by the Lynn Fjord and Chilkat River, is filled with natural wonders – wouldn’t you love to preserve your memories with a camera lens? Accompanied by an expert who knows the best shooting locations depending on lighting, weather and season, you’ll be able to capture the best of the Chilkat Valley’s unique attractions. The summer months are blessed with the spectacle of wildflowers and bald eagles, while autumn often delivers brown bears feeding on pink salmon in the Chilkat river.
The White Pass and Yukon Route is a narrow-gauge railroad that was constructed at the end of the nineteenth century to provide access for prospectors to the gold fields of the Klondike. Prior to the construction of the railroad, the only way to make the journey was on-foot: an effort made tortuous by the same rugged natural beauty for which the route is now famed. Today, it’s possible to admire the breath-taking panorama of glaciers and gorges, tunnels, trestles and historic sites from a vintage, luxury parlour car which seats just fourteen happy passengers. Along the way, your personal guide will share the harrowing stories behind locations such as Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch and enjoy locally-sourced cuisine and all-inclusive beverages.
More than a century ago, those who came to Alaska could only have dreamed that it would one day be possible to experience this destination in the comfort and style of a luxury cruise holiday. Your personal travel manager can help you convert this dream to a reality.